By Alice Johnsen.
The decorations have been packed away for another year and the children are back at school. Another Christmas slips into the past, with all its memories, excitements and challenges forming part of our stories. So now, back to the routine of normal life.
Routines are at the heart of all our lives and it is their familiarity and structure that holds us.
Over Christmas, when so many of us take a break from our regular routines, we can feel their absence. What is normal for us gets a bit shaken up, which can be both re-charging and discombobulating.
Did you notice a difference? And how do you feel now you are ‘back in your normal routine’?
What would your answer be if I were to ask you if your routine works for you? If the answer ranges from ‘it’s not working for me at all’ to ‘it’s ok-ish’, don’t worry.
A routine in our lives should be ever changing, even if only slightly. And the good news is a few small changes or tweaks here and there ripple out to have a greater effect.
It’s like setting your alarm clock ten minutes earlier – not a great loss of sleep but potentially a totally different, less stressful way to start your day. Or eating your evening meal 20 minutes earlier. Taking ten minutes extra over your lunch break.
The small changes are the ones that are most sustainable and make us just feel better about our everyday lives.
It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. Often people will start their coaching conversations saying they want to change everything but they are not sure how or even why.
In ten years of coaching, changing everything has never, not once, been what was really needed or indeed wanted. Unhappiness or dissatisfaction about one area of your life can make you feel the whole thing is wrong.
It can shake up your outlook on your life and make you feel everything is going wrong – or worse still, you are getting everything wrong.
When your life feels like that, try taking a mental step back and breaking your life up into different sections. You will find some sections are, in fact, going pretty well.
It’s just the feelings about the more challenging parts of your life affect your thoughts about your whole life.
Try looking again at the areas causing you more anxiety. Can they be overcome by any small tweaks?
Have faith in the small changes to your everyday life. They can make a difference to the whole picture.
Alice Johnsen is a life coach (07961 080513; alicejohnsen.co.uk)